The 2024 UK talent market outlook

Content Team

80% of UK employers are struggling to find the talent they need. Globally, three-quarters of employers are in the same boat. But against a backdrop of economic uncertainty, nearing elections and rapid technological advancements, hiring appetite has waned in recent months. According to the National Statistics data as of October, vacancies are down 26%. We asked our talent expert, Lucy McBean, what it means for employers in 2024.

Thriving in the realm of talent acquisition extends far beyond hiring alone; it involves strategic planning and visionary foresight. It's about nurturing existing talent and not just acquiring – but building the skills of tomorrow.”

The top skill sets in demand

Most industries in the UK have grappled with skill-shortages and will continue to do so in the year ahead. According to Lucy, skill shortages in technology, life sciences, healthcare and natural resources will particularly stand out. 

Attracting & Retaining Talent

In a market where employers are struggling to find the talent they need, employers are turning to offers such as flexibility, remote and hybrid work options and increased salary packages. For many however, the focus in 2024 will be on retention.

“Retention efforts in 2024 will largely take the shape of development pathways for existing employees, workplace flexibility offerings and increased learning and development budgets. These methods are a proactive approach to filling both current and future skill gaps, while retaining talent”, says Lucy. “In new hiring efforts, 2024 will see an increase in uptake of skills-based hiring. Additionally, more organisations will turn to uncovered talent pools like the ‘boomerang employee’, like we’ve seen in the technology sector in 2023.”

Trends to watch

In addition to the boomerang employee, there’s a couple more trends to watch in 2024 according to Lucy.

  • Portfolio careers

    Portfolio careers are careers where talent works for multiple companies simultaneously, for example through part-time roles or freelancing. The trend reflects a shift towards a more flexible approach to employment and allows talent to craft their unique skill sets.

  • People analytics

    HR technology is on a trajectory of continuous evolution, particularly in the realm of people analytics. In ongoing technological advancements for HR, more boards and departments are leveraging advanced analytics to gather deeper insights into their workforce. The trend marks a shift wherein strategic workforce planning and talent optimization are becoming more commonplace.

The start of 2024 will see a technology- and skills-driven talent market with a large focus on retention. As we’ve seen in previous years, the dynamic talent market can turn quickly, and adaptability and the backing of a strategic recruitment partner are key to staying ahead of the competition for talent. Do you want to talk about your hiring plans for 2024 in more detail? Get in touch with our experts here.

Hudson RPO

Content Team

The Hudson RPO Content Team is made up of experts within the Talent Acquisition industry across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions. They provide educational and critical business insights in the form of research reports, articles, news, videos, podcasts, and more. The team ensures high-quality content that helps all readers make talent decisions with confidence.

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